Index


F-22 Aircraft: Issues in Achieving Engineering and Manufacturing
Development Goals (Letter Report, 03/15/99, GAO/NSIAD-99-55).

Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO followed up on its report on
the Air Force's F-22 engineering and manufacturing development (EMD)
program, focusing on whether: (1) the Air Force is likely to complete
the EMD program without exceeding the cost limitation established by the
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998; and (2) GAO had
access to sufficient information to make informed judgments on matters
covered by this report.

GAO noted that: (1) the Air Force estimates it can complete F-22 EMD
within the cost limitation; (2) however, the F-22 contractor cost and
schedule plans, as defined in 1997, were not fully accomplished; (3)
costs exceeded the budgets established to accomplish planned work, and
work planned was not always completed on schedule; (4) the Air Force
viewed the potential for further cost growth as a threat to completing
EMD within the cost limitation; (5) although the Air Force devised ways
to avoid and reduce costs, GAO questions whether EMD, as planned, can be
completed within the cost limitation; (6) cost reviews by the Air Force
and the contractors in 1998 identified potential program cost growth of
$482 million that, if not addressed, could increase program costs above
the cost limitation of $18.939 billion; (7) Air Force and contractor
plans to address this potential cost growth have not all been finalized;
(8) the contractor has notified the Air Force that F-22 EMD program
costs may increase if sales of C-130J aircraft, which are manufactured
in the same plant as the F-22, are lower than anticipated because the
F-22 program will have to absorb a higher share of the plant's overhead
costs; (9) deliveries and first flights of the next four flight-test
aircraft are expected to be late, reducing flight-testing time available
before planned EMD completion; (10) unless the Air Force can
successfully compress or reduce the remaining flight tests to complete
EMD as scheduled, EMD costs will increase; (11) there have been delays
in developing F-22's integrated avionics systems, and the schedule for
completing avionics development appears unrealistic; (12) the Air Force
estimates that the F-22 will meet or exceed all its required performance
parameters; (13) the estimates are based on computer simulations,
studies, and flight-test data; (14) the Air Force expects additional
flight testing to confirm the estimates; (15) as of December 1998, the
Air Force had completed about 200 flight-test hours and the selected
performance demonstrations and events required by the Under Secretary of
Defense for Acquisition and Technology before F-22 production activities
begin; (16) in December 1998, the Secretary of Defense submitted a
report about F-22 testing and production risks to Congress, and the Air
Force awarded a contract to initiate production activities; and (17) the
Air Force and the contractors gave GAO access to sufficient information
to make informed judgments on the matters covered in this report.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-99-55
     TITLE:  F-22 Aircraft: Issues in Achieving Engineering and 
             Manufacturing Development Goals
      DATE:  03/15/99
   SUBJECT:  Procurement planning
             Air Force procurement
             Weapons systems
             Military budgets
             Military cost control
             Fighter aircraft
             Defense capabilities
             Future budget projections
             Operational testing
             Avionics
IDENTIFIER:  Air Force F-22 Engineering and Manufacturing Development 
             Program
             F-22 Aircraft
             C-130J Aircraft
             
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NS99055.book GAO United States General Accounting Office

Report to Congressional Committees

March 1999 F- 22 AIRCRAFT Issues in Achieving Engineering and
Manufacturing Development Goals




GAO/NSIAD-99-55

  GAO/NSIAD-99-55

United States General Accounting Office Washington, D. C. 20548
Lett er

Page 1 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

GAO

National Security and International Affairs Division Lett er

B-280222 March 15, 1999 Congressional Committees As required by
the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998 (P. L.
105- 85), we reviewed the Air Force's F- 22 engineering and
manufacturing development (EMD) program. This report, an update to
a report we issued last year, 1 presents our conclusions regarding
whether the Air Force is likely to complete the EMD program
without exceeding the cost limitation established by the act. The
act also requires us to certify whether we had access to
sufficient information to make informed judgments on matters
covered by this report.

Results in Brief The Air Force estimates it can complete F- 22 EMD
within the cost limitation. However, during much of 1998, the F-
22 contractor cost and schedule plans, as defined in 1997, were
not fully accomplished. Costs exceeded the budgets established to
accomplish planned work, and work planned was not always completed
on schedule. The Air Force viewed the

potential for further cost growth as a threat to completing EMD
within the cost limitation. Although the Air Force devised ways to
avoid and reduce costs, we question whether EMD, as planned, can
be completed within the cost limitation. Our conclusion is based
on the following:

 Cost reviews by the Air Force and the contractors in 1998
identified a potential program cost growth of $482 million that,
if not addressed, could increase program costs above the cost
limitation of $18.939 billion. Air Force and contractor plans to
address this potential cost growth have not all been finalized.
These plans include eliminating some planned EMD activities.
Further, unless the plans are successful,

additional measures will be necessary to reduce costs.  The
contractor has notified the Air Force that F- 22 EMD program costs

may increase if sales of C- 130J aircraft, which are manufactured
in the same plant as the F- 22, are lower than anticipated because
the F- 22 program will have to absorb a higher share of the
plant's overhead costs.  Deliveries and first flights of the next
four flight- test aircraft are

expected to be late, reducing flight- testing time available
before planned EMD completion. Unless the Air Force can
successfully compress or

1 F- 22 Aircraft: Progress in Achieving Engineering and
Manufacturing Development Goals (GAO/NSIAD-98-67, Mar. 10, 1998).

B-280222 Page 2 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

reduce the remaining flight tests to complete EMD as scheduled,
EMD costs will increase.  There have been delays in developing the
F- 22's integrated avionics 2 systems, and the schedule for
completing avionics development appears unrealistic. If avionics
development requires an extension of EMD,

additional costs will be incurred. The Air Force currently
estimates that the F- 22 will meet or exceed all its required
performance parameters. The estimates are based on computer
simulations, studies, and flight- test data. The Air Force expects
additional flight testing to confirm the estimates. As of December
1998, the Air Force had completed about 200 flight- test hours and
the selected performance demonstrations and events required by the
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology before
F- 22 production activities begin. In December 1998, the Secretary
of Defense submitted a report about F- 22 testing and production
risks to the Congress, and the Air Force awarded a

contract to initiate production activities. The Air Force and the
contractors gave us access to sufficient information to make
informed judgments on the matters covered in this report.

Background The F- 22 is an air superiority aircraft with advanced
technology features, including integrated avionics. The objectives
of the F- 22 EMD program,

which began in 1991, are to (1) design, fabricate, test, and
deliver 9 F- 22 flight- test vehicles, 2 ground- test vehicles,
and 26 flight- qualified engines; (2) design, fabricate,
integrate, and test the avionics suite; and (3) design, develop,
and test the support and training systems. The F- 22 is being
developed under cost- type contracts with Lockheed Martin
Corporation (for the aircraft) and Pratt & Whitney Corporation
(for the engines).

Concerned about the growing costs of the F- 22 program, the
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition in June 1996
established the Joint Estimating Team (JET) to estimate the most
probable cost of the F- 22 EMD and production programs. The team
consisted of personnel from the Air Force, the Department of
Defense (DOD), and private industry. 2 F- 22 avionics are expected
to be much more advanced than those of previous fighter aircraft.
A common computer, rather than multiple computers, will receive,
process, and display information to minimize the pilot's workload
and provide previously unmatched awareness of potential threats
and targets.

B-280222 Page 3 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

The JET concluded in 1997 that additional time would be required
to complete EMD and estimated that EMD costs would increase to
$18.688 billion. The JET recommended several changes to the
program's

schedule, including slower manufacturing for a more efficient
transition from development to low- rate initial production and an
additional 12 months to complete avionics development. The JET did
not recommend

changing F- 22 performance goals. The Air Force and the Under
Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology generally
adopted the JET's recommendations 3 to extend the F- 22 EMD
schedule, including the dates for accomplishing interim events and
completing EMD. We used the cost and schedule plans established in
1997 as a result of the JET study as an analytical baseline to
assess whether cost and schedule goals for F- 22 EMD are being
met.

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998
established a cost limitation of $18.688 billion (an amount that
mirrored the JET estimate) for the F- 22 EMD program and $43.4
billion for the F- 22 production program. The act instructed the
Secretary of the Air Force to adjust the cost limitations for the
amounts of increases or decreases in

costs attributable to economic inflation after September 30, 1997,
and compliance with changes in federal, state, and local laws
enacted after September 30, 1997. Since then, the Air Force has
adjusted the EMD program's cost limitation to $18. 939 billion.

In May 1998, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and
Technology directed the Secretary of the Air Force to modify the
F- 22's acquisition strategy. This direction designated the first
two aircraft as production representative test vehicles and the
purchase of six aircraft as the first low- rate initial production
lot. It also required the Air Force to

brief the Defense Acquisition Board in November 1998 on the
progress made toward meeting performance criteria established in
the directive. The criteria were to  initiate flight testing of
the second EMD aircraft;  conduct flight operations on the first
two EMD aircraft, including flight operations at specified speeds
and altitudes, the first air refueling, the

first supersonic flight, the first flight above 30,000 feet, and
the first flight above an 18- degree angle of attack;

3 For more information on the JET's recommendations, see Tactical
Aircraft: Restructuring of the Air Force F- 22 Fighter Program
(GAO/NSIAD-97-156, June 4, 1997).

B-280222 Page 4 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

 complete full ground vibration tests on the first EMD aircraft;
complete the critical design review for block 2 avionics; and
complete initial release of the first block of software to the
flying test bed. 4

The Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal
Year 1999 (P. L. 105- 261), prohibited the Air Force from
obligating funds for advance procurement of the first six
production aircraft until the Secretary of Defense submitted a
report that either  certified that 433 flight- test hours (about
10 percent of the planned flight- test program) were completed or
identified the number of flight- test hours completed, the reasons
for the

Secretary's determination that fewer than 433 flight- test hours
are sufficient to decide to proceed to production, the extent to
which the Secretary's determination is consistent with each major
aircraft acquisition decision made by the Defense Acquisition
Board since

January 1997, the amount of flight testing completed that was or
was not sufficient to justify a decision to proceed to low- rate
initial production (applies to major aircraft acquisition
programs), and a determination by the Secretary that it is more
financially advantageous for the

Department to proceed to production than to delay production until
completion of 433 hours of flight testing, together with the
reasons for that determination. As of December 1998, the Air Force
had accepted two flight- test aircraft and completed about 200
flight- test hours, about 5 percent of the total planned flight-
test hours for the EMD program. In December 1998, the Secretary of
Defense submitted a report to the Congress as required by the
Strom Thurmond National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year
1999, and the Air Force awarded contracts for two production
representative test aircraft and to initiate production activities
for six production aircraft.

Through fiscal year 1999, the Congress had appropriated about
$15.6 billion for F- 22 EMD, or 82 percent of the cost limitation.
About $3.3 billion remained to be appropriated.

4 The flying test bed is a Boeing 757 designed to test avionics
before they are installed on the EMD aircraft.

B-280222 Page 5 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Extent to Which the F- 22 Program Is Meeting the Cost Goal

for the EMD Program Contractor cost experience and studies in 1998
indicated cost growth threatened the Air Force's ability to
complete EMD within the $18.939 billion cost limitation. As of
January 1999, the Air Force estimated

that the F- 22 EMD program will cost $18.911 billion, $28 million
less than the cost limitation. However, the Air Force and Lockheed
Martin have identified potential program cost growth of $482
million. Successful implementation of plans to reduce the cost
growth is essential if the program is to be completed within the
cost limitation. A factor the Air Force did not consider in its
estimate of potential cost growth was the

possibility that the F- 22 program may have to absorb a higher
share of the manufacturing plant's overhead costs if the
contractor does not sell enough C- 130J aircraft, which are
produced at the same plant as the F- 22.

Contractor Costs Exceeded Budgets for Planned Work

Lockheed Martin reports to the Air Force monthly concerning its
progress compared with planned costs and schedules. These reports
define the cost and schedule variances from the contract plans.
Through 1998, Lockheed

Martin reports showed a worsening trend of costs that exceeded its
budgets for work that had been completed. For example, through
January 1998, Lockheed Martin reported that costs exceeded its
budgets by $14.4 million. By June 1998, costs exceeded budgets by
$93.3 million.

Studies Identified Additional Potential Cost Growth

In early 1998, because contractor costs were exceeding budgets and
planned work was behind schedule, Lockheed Martin and the Air
Force studied the EMD program's estimated costs and identified
potential cost growth of $482 million. 5 A Lockheed Martin team
identified potential cost growth of about $240 million, and an Air
Force team identified an

additional potential cost growth of $242 million. As a result of
these studies, Lockheed Martin requested in November 1998 that the
Air Force add $240 million to the EMD contract. Air Force
officials advised us,

however, that the increase may be less than $240 million. The Air
Force 5 Air Force and contractor evaluations indicated potential
cost growth of $667 million, which could be offset by $185 million
in management reserves available in the contract price. The net
growth, accordingly, is about $482 million.

B-280222 Page 6 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

plans to reallocate funds within the total program to accommodate
the cost growth and keep the EMD cost within the congressional
limitation. 6 The primary causes for the potential cost growth
were identified as (1) designing, modifying, and manufacturing
airframe 7 components and (2) developing and integrating the
avionics. Cost growth for the airframe

was attributed to problems in manufacturing the castings that
attach the wing to the aircraft's body, the aft fuselage, the
horizontal tails, and the engine air inlets; more manufacturing
changes than anticipated; and additional required analyses.
Avionics development experienced cost growth because of problems
with the technical complexities of the system and the delivery by
subcontractors of insufficiently developed software.

Plans to Address Potential Cost Growth Because cost growth of $482
million would cause the EMD program to

exceed the cost limitation, the Air Force has developed plans to
reduce F- 22 EMD costs. Plans call for eliminating and deferring
program elements. For example, planned actions include

 deferring external weapons testing until after EMD is completed
($ 140 million),  reassessing the effort required to conduct
flight testing for use of a

helmet targeting system and the AIM- 9X missile and reducing the
estimated cost of testing ($ 110 million),  reducing contractor
laboratory costs for the test program ($ 100 million),  reducing
other government costs such as special studies ($ 50 million),

and  implementing Lockheed Martin cost reduction plans ($ 80
million).

According to the Air Force, testing to certify that the F- 22 can
effectively use externally mounted weapons will be deferred until
after EMD is completed. Regarding the $80 million in potential
reductions expected to come from Lockheed Martin's cost reduction
plans, the contractor said that it had validated only $20 million
as firm cost reductions through November 1998.

6 In February 1999, the Air Force stated that additional costs
would be incurred because of problems manufacturing wings. The Air
Force estimated that additional cost growth of $22 million will
occur in addition to the potential cost growth identified in 1998.
As a result, the Air Force will be required to identify offsets to
remain within the cost limitation. 7 Airframe refers only to the
structural part of the aircraft.

B-280222 Page 7 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Potential Impact of C- 130J Sales on Program

The potential cost growth identified by the Air Force and
contractor does not include the effects that lower than
anticipated sales of C- 130J cargo aircraft by Lockheed Martin may
have on F- 22 program costs. Lockheed

Martin, which produces the C- 130J and the F- 22 in its Marietta,
Georgia, plant, has notified the Air Force that the F- 22 EMD
program will have to absorb a higher share of the plant's overhead
costs if fewer C- 130Js are sold than expected. The Air Force has
not taken into account the potential

impact of this cost increase, which could amount to between $150-$
160 million per year if C- 130J production were to cease,
according to the Defense Contract Management Command in Marietta.
DOD officials advised us that increased costs would have to be
absorbed only partially by the F- 22 EMD program and that other
business may develop. They indicated that Lockheed Martin was
negotiating with several foreign

governments for potential sales of C- 130J's. Extent to Which the
F- 22 Program Is Meeting the Schedule

Goals for the EMD Program

The Air Force is not achieving several of the planned events that
were established in 1997 as a result of the JET review. In
particular, planned events for producing EMD aircraft and
developing avionics were not being met through December 1998. One
effect of this is that test aircraft are being delivered later
than planned, thus preventing flight- test activities from being
completed as planned. In March 1998 we reported that there were
delays in achieving these milestones. 8

Contractor Did Not Accomplish Work as Scheduled

Through 1998, Lockheed Martin reports showed a worsening trend in
the accomplishment of its planned work. For example, through
January 1998, Lockheed Martin reported that it had not completed
planned work valued at $70. 9 million. By June 1998, it reported
that the value of planned work not accomplished had increased to
$111.5 million.

Manufacturing Problems Caused Late Deliveries and Reduced Flight-
and Ground- Testing Time

The first two F- 22 EMD aircraft were flight- tested through most
of December 1998. The first aircraft began flight tests about 3
months later than planned, but the second aircraft began testing
on time. Because of manufacturing problems, however, the Air Force
estimates that the next

four flight- test aircraft will be delivered late. Flight testing
is expected to 8 F- 22 Aircraft: Progress in Achieving Engineering
and Manufacturing Development Goals (GAO/NSIAD-98-67, Mar. 10,
1998).

B-280222 Page 8 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

begin between 2 weeks and over 5 months later than was planned in
1997. Also, the two ground- test aircraft are expected to start
testing 6 to 8 months later. As a result, the Air Force has 16.9
fewer flight- test months available to complete the flight- test
program. Air Force officials said they have eliminated the impact
of this reduced time by making some flight- test

aircraft available for testing for longer periods than previously
planned and by deferring some testing until after the EMD program
is completed. According to the officials, the Air Force is also
studying ways to reduce the required flight- test hours. If the
Air Force plan to revise the flight- test schedule is not
successful, additional deferments, or deletions will be

needed to remain within the cost limitation. Table 1 compares the
1997 scheduled first flight dates with the expected first flight
dates as of January 1999.

Table 1: Comparison of Schedules for First Flights of EMD Aircraft

a Actual date of first flight.

The delays in first flights are being caused by problems in
manufacturing wings and fuselages. Wings are expected to be
delivered later than the 1997 schedule because of problems with
the development and manufacture of large titanium castings that
attach the wing to the aircraft's body. As of

January 1999, the Air Force and the contractor were working to
resolve the problem. The Air Force expected Lockheed Martin to
receive the wings for the next four flight- test aircraft and both
ground- test articles between

EMD aircraft First flight as scheduled in 1997 Expected first
flight

as of January 1999 Months of delay in first flight

4001 May 29, 1997 September 7, 1997 a 3.3 4002 July 9, 1998 June
29, 1998 a -0. 3 4003 June 16, 1999 November 22, 1999 5. 2 4004
August 17, 1999 February 3, 2000 5. 6 4005 January 11, 2000 March
31, 2000 2. 7 4006 May 18, 2000 May 30, 2000 0.4 4007 September
25, 2000 September 25, 2000 0 4008 February 2, 2001 February 2,
2001 0 4009 June 1, 2001 June 1, 2001 0

Total aircraft flight test months of delay 16. 9

B-280222 Page 9 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

2 weeks and over 6 months late. 9 The Air Force also expected the
aft fuselage the rear aircraft body section to be delivered late
for the next four flight- test aircraft and two ground- test
articles because of late

deliveries of parts and welding difficulties caused by the very
small tolerances allowed when fitting fuselage parts together. Air
Force officials said they had identified a solution to the welding
problem.

Avionics Development Is Behind Schedule Development of avionics
systems for the F- 22 is behind the 1997 schedule.

Although radar system development activities have been completed
generally on schedule, development problems with the
communication, navigation, and identification and the electronic
warfare systems 10 have caused schedule delays and cost growth in
avionics development. Lockheed Martin and the Air Force have
included these cost increases in their estimates of potential cost
growth.

Because of these problems, the Air Force developed a new avionics
schedule in August 1998, allocating more time to complete the
first two major avionics segments, known as blocks 1 and 2. 11 The
subcontractors

for both systems have had problems integrating the various modules
and sections of the software, so the process is taking longer than
expected. Several communication, navigation, and identification
sensors failed testing and have required further development time
and effort. Electronic warfare hardware problems have been
reportedly caused by problems such as faulty designs of some
sections and late supplier deliveries. Furthermore, officials at
Boeing Military Aircraft, a subcontractor that operates a key
avionics integration laboratory, told us they have been receiving
late deliveries of software that is insufficiently developed. This
has added to the time and effort needed to integrate the avionics
software.

9 In February 1999, the Air Force stated that wings for the third
through the sixth test aircraft will be delayed 10 to 15 weeks
more than anticipated by the revised schedule. They also said they
were pursuing mitigation actions to avoid further delays in first
flights.

10 The communication, navigation, and identification system
integrates these three functions to give pilots greater awareness
of the surrounding situation. The electronic warfare system warns
the pilot of air or ground radar and missile threats and provides
countermeasures.

11 Blocks 1, 2, 3S, 3, and 3. 1 are each designed to have
increased capability over the previous block. The last phase of
development for each block begins when it is placed on the
aircraft for testing.

B-280222 Page 10 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Revised Avionics Schedule Appears Unrealistic

The Air Force's August 1998 revised schedule postponed the planned
completion dates for blocks 1 and 2 but did not change the
completion dates for subsequent blocks 3 and 3.1, 12 even though
the majority of initial

software development tasks related to these last two segments have
been delayed between 1 and 18 months. In 1997, the JET had
concluded that avionics development could take as much as 12
months more than planned because of delays in all four avionics
blocks (1, 2, 3, and 3.1).

Even though blocks 1 and 2 are behind schedule and will probably
be completed later than planned in 1997, the revised schedule
shows avionics blocks 3 and 3.1 being completed over 5 months
before the completion

dates that the JET considered realistic in 1997. If blocks 3 and
3.1 take longer than planned to be completed under the revised
schedule, additional costs will be incurred. Significance of
Avionics Flight Testing

Integrated avionics is a critical technology advancement for the
F- 22, and substantial flight testing is planned to demonstrate
and evaluate its capability. The Air Force has planned a
substantially higher number of avionics flight- test hours in the
F- 22 program than in previous fighter

programs. Table 2 compares F- 22 avionics flight- test hours to
those of other fighter programs.

12 The revised schedule also adds block 3S between blocks 2 and 3.
In adding this block, the Air Force moved some block 3 activities
ahead for earlier evaluation. This did not, however, change the
planned completion date for block 3 activities.

B-280222 Page 11 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Table 2: Avionics Flight- Test Hours Planned for the F- 22 and
Completed by Other Fighter Aircraft Programs

Extent to Which the F- 22 Program Is Meeting the

Performance Goals for the EMD Program

In December 1998, the Air Force estimated that by the end of the
EMD program, the F- 22 would meet or exceed the goals for the
major performance parameters. These include 10 parameters on which
the Air Force reports regularly to DOD and 2 additional
performance features we reviewed that relate to other critical
characteristics of the F- 22. The Air Force performance estimates
were based on flight- test data, computer models, ground tests,
and analyses.

As we reported last year, we reviewed 2 additional features
situational awareness and low observability that are not among the
10 major performance parameters but that both the Air Force and we
consider critical for the aircraft's ability to operate as
intended. We are therefore reporting on the Air Force's progress
in developing these two features. Greater situational awareness
improves response time to threats, increasing the lethality and
survivability of the aircraft, while the aircraft's low
observable, or stealth, features allow it to evade detection by
enemy aircraft and surface- to- air missiles. The 10 parameters
and 2 additional features, shown in table 3, are described in
detail in appendix I. Table 3 shows the goal for each parameter,
the estimated performance achieved for each parameter as of
December 1998, and the Air Force's current estimate of the
performance each parameter is expected to achieve by the end of
the EMD program. Most of the goals and related performance
information are classified and are therefore shown as percentages
rather than numbers.

Aircraft type Number of test aircraft Avionics flight hours

F- 14 4 1, 168 F- 15 3 819 F- 16 1 488 F- 18 1 591 F- 22 6 1, 574

B-280222 Page 12 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Table 3: Estimates of Performance for Selected Parameters and for
Additional Features

a These goals are not acquisition program baseline numbers. We
assigned a value of 100 percent to evaluate the features.

Initial Production Activities Approved

The Air Force accomplished the test events required by the Under
Secretary of Defense and achieved about 200 hours of flight
testing through December 1998. The Air Force briefed the Under
Secretary on the results of the accomplishments on December 17,
1998. On December 23, 1998, the Secretary of Defense reported to
the Congress that the F- 22 program was meeting its objectives and
that the risk of producing two production

representative test aircraft and obligating advance procurement
funds for the first six production aircraft was acceptable. The
Under Secretary approved award of the contracts for the two
production representative test aircraft and the advance
procurement for the first six production aircraft.

Key performance parameters Goal (acquisition program baseline)
Estimated

performance 12/ 98 Estimate at EMD completion

Supercruise 100% 115% 115% Acceleration 100% 115% 115%
Maneuverability 100% 104% 104% Airlift support (C- 141
equivalents) 8 7. 7 7. 7

Sortie generation rate 100% 100% 100% Radar cross section (front
sector only) 100% Favorable Favorable

Mean time between maintenance (hours) 3.0 3. 1 3. 1

Payload (missiles) 4 medium range 2 short range 6 medium range

2 short range 6 medium range 2 short range Combat radius 100% 124%
124% Radar detection range 100% 117% 117%

Additional features reviewed by GAO Goal a Estimated

performance to date Current estimate at EMD completion

Situational awareness 100% Favorable Favorable Low observability
100% Favorable Favorable

B-280222 Page 13 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Conclusions It is unlikely that the Air Force will be able to
complete the F- 22 EMD program, as planned, within the cost
limitation set by the National Defense

Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998. Our conclusion is based on
incomplete Air Force cost reduction plans, the potential for
increased overhead costs if C- 130J sales are lower than expected,
late deliveries and first flights of EMD aircraft, reduced flight-
test months, schedule delays in developing avionics, and a revised
avionics schedule that is not realistic.

The Air Force has revised its avionics development schedule by
postponing dates for early development activities but not for
later tasks. It has thus compressed the schedule in a way that may
not be realistic, especially considering the delays experienced so
far and the high number of avionics flight- test hours planned. If
it takes longer to complete avionics development than planned,
additional costs will be incurred or actions will be necessary to
address these costs.

The Air Force is estimating that the F- 22 will meet or exceed all
its required performance parameters. Through December 1998, about
5 percent of the flight- test program had been completed to verify
these estimates.

Recommendations We recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct
the Secretary of the Air Force to formulate a more realistic
avionics development schedule. We recommend that in doing so, the
Secretary consider the progress to date, the JET's avionics
schedule, and the impact a more realistic schedule would have on
the EMD program's estimated cost.

We also recommend that the Secretary of Defense evaluate how
decisions regarding C- 130J production are likely to impact F- 22
EMD and assess the Air Force's ability to negate additional
overhead costs that may be allocated to F- 22 EMD.

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation

DOD agreed that avionics development and integration is a
challenging area for the F- 22 program and that reduced quantities
of C- 130J aircraft could have a cost impact on the F- 22 EMD
program.

DOD did not agree that the Secretary of Defense should, at this
time, direct the Secretary of the Air Force to formulate a more
realistic avionics

B-280222 Page 14 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

schedule. DOD officials said the Office of the Under Secretary of
Defense and the Air Force are both aware that schedule pressures
resulting from emphasis on block 1 avionics will have an impact on
development and

integration of later software blocks. Because the Office of the
Under Secretary of Defense is aware of potential impacts and is
monitoring Air Force efforts to mitigate any further schedule
impacts, DOD officials believe it is unnecessary at this time for
DOD to issue further guidance to the Air Force about the need to
keep the F- 22 program on schedule and

within available funding. We believe DOD needs to ensure that a
realistic avionics development schedule is formulated and that DOD
is aware of any subsequent impact on the program schedule or
estimated program cost. We continue to believe the recommendation
is valid, although we understand that the intent of the
recommendation may be achievable without issuing formal guidance
to the Secretary of the Air Force.

DOD partially agreed with our recommendation to evaluate how
decisions regarding C- 130J production are likely to impact the F-
22 EMD program and assess the Air Force's ability to nullify
additional overhead costs that may be allocated to the F- 22 EMD
program. DOD agreed that a significant change to previously
anticipated C- 130J production volume would have an

adverse impact on the F- 22 program. Until a specific C- 130J buy
profile is available and overhead rates associated with that
profile are calculated, DOD said it would be unable to determine
the specific impact on the F- 22 program. DOD also said that
programs at Lockheed Martin other than the C- 130J could impact
the F- 22 EMD program.

DOD said its ability to nullify/ offset additional overhead costs
is limited only by the number of cost reduction plans that can be
generated, funded, and successfully implemented. DOD said the Air
Force and Lockheed Martin are continually searching for
opportunities to reduce the cost of the F- 22 program.

We continue to believe that the Secretary of Defense should assess
how changes in Lockheed Martin's overall business base would
affect the F- 22 EMD program. Because the Air Force estimates the
F- 22 EMD program is near its cost limitation, any significant
impact as a result of changes in Lockheed Martin's business base
could require the Air Force to identify mitigation actions to
remain within the cost limitation. Therefore, we

B-280222 Page 15 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

believe our recommendation is still appropriate, as the assessment
must be completed in time for the Air Force to act on its results.
DOD's comments are included in appendix III of this report. We are
sending copies of this report to the Secretaries of Defense and
the Air Force and the Director, Office of Management and Budget.
Copies will also be made available to others on request.

Please contact me at (202) 512- 4841 if you or your staff have any
questions concerning this report. Major contributors to this
report are listed in appendix IV.

Louis J. Rodrigues Director, Defense Acquisitions Issues

B-280222 Page 16 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

List of Congressional Committees The Honorable John W. Warner
Chairman The Honorable Carl Levin Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Armed Services United States Senate

The Honorable Ted Stevens Chairman The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye
Ranking Minority Member Subcommittee on Defense Committee on
Appropriations United States Senate

The Honorable Floyd D. Spence Chairman The Honorable Ike Skelton
Ranking Minority Member Committee on Armed Services House of
Representatives

The Honorable Jerry Lewis Chairman The Honorable John P. Murtha
Ranking Minority Member Subcommittee on Defense Committee on
Appropriations House of Representatives

Page 17 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Contents Letter 1 Appendix I F- 22 Performance Parameters

19 Appendix II Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

24 Appendix III Comments From the Department of Defense

26 Appendix IV Major Contributors to This Report

30 Related GAO Products 32 Tables Table 1: Comparison of Schedules
for First Flights of EMD Aircraft 8

Table 2: Avionics Flight- Test Hours Planned for the F- 22 and
Completed by Other Fighter Aircraft Programs 11 Table 3: Estimates
of Performance for Selected Parameters and for Additional Features
12

Table I. 1: F- 22 Performance Parameters and Major Subparameters
23

Page 18 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft Abbreviations

DOD Department of Defense EMD engineering and manufacturing
development JET Joint Estimating Team RCS radar cross section

Page 19 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Appendix I F- 22 Performance Parameters Appendi x I

Supercruise Supercruise is the aircraft's ability to sustain
supersonic (greater than mach 1) 1 speed without using its
afterburners. Supercruise saves fuel and

helps reduce the aircraft's infrared signature, thus making the F-
22 harder for the enemy to detect. The goal for the F- 22 is to
supercruise at a speed considerably greater than mach 1 in a
stable, level flight at an altitude of 40, 000 feet. The Air Force
estimates the F- 22 will exceed the supercruise

goal by about 15 percent. This estimate was determined through an
analysis of computer models and flight testing completed so far.
The computer models use data such as the engines' thrust and fuel
flow characteristics. Flight testing of the aircraft propulsion
characteristics began in 1998 and is scheduled to continue into
the second quarter of 2000.

Acceleration Acceleration is a key parameter because the F- 22
must fly faster than enemy aircraft and exit an area quickly after
it employs air- to- air or air- to- ground munitions. The
acceleration parameter refers to the amount of time it takes the
aircraft to go from 0.8 mach to 1. 5 mach speed at an altitude of
30, 000 feet. The Air Force estimates that the F- 22 will exceed
its acceleration goal. This estimate was determined through an
analysis of computer models, propulsion ground testing, and flight
testing. Flight testing of the aircraft's propulsion
characteristics began in 1998 and is scheduled to continue into
the second quarter of 2000.

Maneuverability Maneuverability is the maximum force the aircraft
can generate while turning at 0.9 mach speed at an altitude of
30,000 feet without losing speed

or altitude. Many additional measures of aircraft maneuverability
exist, but the Air Force has determined that this measurement is
the most appropriate to demonstrate the F- 22's overall
maneuverability under key

flight conditions. The Air Force estimates the F- 22 will exceed
its maneuverability goal by 4 percent. The estimate was determined
through an analysis of computer models with data on the major
subparameters affecting maneuverability and flight testing. Flight
performance testing

began in 1998 and is scheduled to end in the third quarter of
2001. 1 The ratio of the speed of the aircraft to the speed of
sound. Mach 1 is about 738 miles per hour.

Appendix I F- 22 Performance Parameters

Page 20 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Airlift Support This parameter measures the number of C- 141
transport aircraft equivalents required to deploy and maintain a
squadron of 24 F- 22 aircraft for 30 days without resupply. The
goal is to be able to provide this support with no more than 8 C-
141 equivalents, thereby reducing the assets needed to deploy and
the deployment costs. The Air Force estimates the F- 22 will
require less than 8 C- 141 equivalents. A squadron of F- 15
aircraft requires 19 C- 141 equivalents. The F- 22 estimate will
not be verified until a mobility demonstration takes place in
2004, when the 24 th production aircraft is scheduled to be
delivered.

Sortie Generation Rate Sortie generation rate is the average
number of sorties or missions that can be flown per aircraft per
day in the first 6 days of a conflict. This parameter

measures the degree to which the F- 22 will be available during
the first few days of a conflict to achieve and maintain air
superiority. The Air Force estimates the F- 22 will meet the
sortie generation rate goal. This estimate was based on the
results of a computer model using data on maintenance
characteristics, the availability of support equipment and
resources, and aircraft maintenance policy. F- 22 maintainability
demonstrations to verify the estimates are scheduled to be
completed by 2002.

Radar Cross Section The radar cross section (RCS) parameter
essentially refers to how large the F- 22 appears to enemy radar.
The smaller an aircraft's RCS, the harder it is for enemy radar to
detect and track the aircraft. A small RCS, along with

several other factors, 2 contributes to an aircraft's low
observable, or stealth, characteristics. Although an aircraft has
over 200 RCS measurement points, the Air Force considers what is
known as the front sector RCS how the aircraft is viewed from the
front by enemy radar the

most important one. The Air Force estimates that the F- 22's front
sector RCS will be smaller than its goal. The estimates were based
on component models that predict the RCS of major components, such
as wings and engine inlets, and use this data to predict the RCS
of an entire aircraft. RCS design validation and specification
compliance activities are also being

conducted with a full- scale model of an F- 22. This testing will
continue into 1999. In- flight measurements are scheduled to begin
in 2000.

2 These include infrared signature, electromagnetic signature,
acoustic level, and visibility.

Appendix I F- 22 Performance Parameters

Page 21 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Mean Time Between Maintenance

Mean time between maintenance is a measure of aircraft reliability
defined as the total number of aircraft flight hours divided by
the total number of aircraft maintenance actions in the same
period. The F- 22's goal is 3 flight hours between maintenance
actions by the time the F- 22 reaches system

maturity (100, 000 flight hours, in about 2008). The Air Force
estimates that by the time the F- 22 reaches system maturity, it
will only require maintenance every 3.1 flight hours. The estimate
was calculated using a reliability computer model that uses
factors such as the design of the aircraft's systems and scheduled
maintenance activities. Maintenance data will be collected from
the 500 th through the 5,000 th hour of flight testing

throughout the development and operational flight- testing phases
to update the maintenance estimate. To verify the requirements,
data will continue to be collected through system maturity.
Payload The payload parameter is the number of medium- and short-
range air- to- air missiles the F- 22 can carry when performing an
air superiority mission

without attacking ground targets. Payload is a key parameter
because the F- 22 is designed to carry missiles in its internal
weapons bay, not externally. Carrying weapons externally increases
an aircraft's RCS and allows easier detection by enemy radar. The
Air Force estimates that the F- 22 will meet the payload goal of
carrying six AIM- 120C medium- range missiles and two AIM- 9X
short- range missiles internally. Weapons bay testing is scheduled
for mid- 2000 to determine how well the missiles can exit the
weapons bay when launched.

Combat Radius Combat radius is the number of nautical miles the F-
22 must fly to achieve its primary mission of air superiority.
This requires the F- 22 to fly a certain distance subsonically
(below mach 1 speed) and a certain distance supersonically. The
Air Force estimates that the F- 22 will exceed its

combat radius goal by 24 percent. According to the Air Force,
unfavorable estimates for two of three major subparameters fuel
usage and aircraft weight are not unfavorable enough to prevent
the F- 22 from meeting its combat radius goal. Performance flight
testing to help compute the aircraft's combat radius performance,
as well as other aerodynamic capabilities, began in 1998 and will
continue into the third quarter of 2001.

Appendix I F- 22 Performance Parameters

Page 22 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Radar Detection Range Radar detection range is the number of
nautical miles from which the F- 22 should be able to detect
potential enemy threats or targets. The aircraft's radar must be
able to detect enemy targets that have small radar signatures at
sufficient distance to ensure that the aircraft can engage the
enemy first.

The Air Force estimates that the F- 22's radar will exceed the
established goal by 17 percent. This estimate is based on digital
simulations, models, and flying test- bed flight- test results
dedicated to radar testing. Radar detection performance is
scheduled to be verified against the simulations and models in an
avionics laboratory until the third quarter of 1999. Actual flight
testing of the radar in F- 22 EMD aircraft is scheduled to begin
in 1999

and continue until at least the second quarter of 2001.
Situational Awareness The situational awareness parameter refers
to how the F- 22's sensors and

avionics systems can make pilots aware of the surrounding
situation. The planned integration of avionics systems and sensors
is meant to (1) minimize the pilot's own management and
interpretation of sensors and (2) provide previously unmatched
awareness of potential threats and targets. According to the Air
Force's estimates of the major avionics subparameters affecting
situational awareness (including radar; electronic warfare; and
communication, navigation, and identification systems), the F- 22
will meet the situational awareness goal. Development of the

integrated avionics, however, is still in the early stages, and
the first major segment of avionics is not scheduled to be ready
for placement on EMD flight- test aircraft until April 1999, with
four subsequent major segments (blocks 2, 3S, 3, and 3.1) still to
be completed. Block 3.1 is not scheduled

for placement on EMD flight- test aircraft until April 2001. Low
Observability Low observability refers to the aircraft's stealth,
or its ability to evade

detection by enemy radar long enough to be the first to detect the
enemy and fire. Five features contribute to an aircraft's
observability: its RCS and its infrared, electromagnetic, visual,
and acoustic signatures. The F- 22 does not have a requirement for
acoustic signature. The Air Force estimates that the F- 22 will
meet the low- observability performance goals. Specification
compliance of the most critical feature, RCS, is being

checked with a full- scale model of an F- 22 and will continue
into 1999. In- flight RCS measurements will begin in 2000 and
continue into 2002. Flight testing to measure the F- 22's infrared
signature is scheduled for the third quarter of 1999.

Appendix I F- 22 Performance Parameters

Page 23 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Table I. 1: F- 22 Performance Parameters and Major Subparameters
Performance parameter Major subparameter

Supercruise Engine thrust Acceleration Aircraft weight
Maneuverability Airframe drag Airlift support Number of support
equipment items

Airlift loads required to deploy support equipment Maintenance
manpower required Sortie generation rate Mean time between
maintenance

Maintenance personnel hours/ flying hour Number of support
equipment items Maintenance personnel required Radar cross section
27 subparameters Mean time between maintenance Airframe

Avionics Engines Payload No subparameters Combat radius Fuel usage

Aircraft weight Airframe drag Radar detection range Range in
searching for targets

Range in searching for targets by tracking target speed Time taken
to search for targets Time taken to search for targets by tracking
target speed

Additional features measured by GAO Major subparameter

Situational awareness Radar function Electronic warfare function
Communication, navigation, and identification functions

Low observability Infrared signature Electromagnetic emissions
signature Visual signature Radar cross section

Page 24 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Appendix II Objectives, Scope, and Methodology Appendi x I I

Our objectives were to determine whether the Air Force is likely
to complete the F- 22 EMD program within the congressional cost
limitation. To determine whether the program is likely to meet the
cost limitation, we examined (1) the extent to which the EMD cost
goals are being met; (2) Air Force plans to fund the program for
the following year; and (3) the consistency between the program
funding plan and the cost limitation. We compared the estimated
cost at completion for the prime contracts with planned amounts,
evaluated cost variances identified in the contractors' cost
reporting system, and reviewed the status of initiatives designed
to avoid cost growth.

To determine whether the program is expected to meet schedule
goals, we reviewed the program and avionics schedules and
discussed potential changes to these schedules with F- 22 program
officials. We also tracked progress in the flight- test program.
In addition, we evaluated schedule

variances in the contractors' performance management system and
compared planned milestone accomplishment dates with actual dates.
We tracked technical problems in manufacturing and assembling the
EMD

aircraft. To determine whether the program is expected to meet the
F- 22 performance goals, we analyzed information on the
performance of key performance parameters and of those important
subparameters that are measured. To determine whether estimated
performance had changed, we compared the Air Force's current
estimate for these parameters with previous estimates.

To evaluate the bases for the Air Force's current performance
estimates, we collected information on the goals established for
those major performance subparameters that are critical components
of performance parameters. To determine whether the Air Force
estimates seemed reasonable, we collected and analyzed information
on Air Force estimates, as of December 1998, toward meeting the
goals of these subparameters. For example, each major subparameter
for airlift support-- the number of airlift support equipment
items, the airlift loads needed to transport support equipment

items, and the maintenance personnel required for a squadron of F-
22s-- has its own performance goal, just as the overall parameter
has a performance goal. The performance parameters and their
associated subparameters are shown in table I. 1.

Appendix II Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

Page 25 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

In performing our work, we obtained information and interviewed
officials from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington
D. C.; the F- 22 System Program Office, Wright- Patterson Air
Force Base, Ohio; the

Defense Contract Management Command, Marietta, Georgia; Lockheed
Martin Aeronautical Systems, Marietta, Georgia; Lockheed Martin
Tactical Aircraft Systems, Fort Worth, Texas; and Boeing Military
Aircraft, Seattle, Washington. We performed our work from April
1998 through March 1999

in accordance with generally accepted government auditing
standards.

Page 26 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Appendix III Comments From the Department of Defense Appendi x I I
I

Appendix III Comments From the Department of Defense

Page 27 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Appendix III Comments From the Department of Defense

Page 28 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Now on p. 13.

Appendix III Comments From the Department of Defense

Page 29 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Now on p. 13.

Page 30 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Appendix IV Major Contributors to This Report Appendi x I V

National Security and International Affairs Division, Washington,
D. C.

David E. Cooper Robert D. Murphy

Atlanta Field Office Christopher T. Brannon Chicago Field Office
Leonard L. Benson

Edward R. Browning Don M. Springman

Office of the General Counsel, Washington, D. C.

William T. Woods

Page 31 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Page 32 GAO/NSIAD-99-55 F- 22 Aircraft

Related GAO Products F- 22 Aircraft: Progress of the Engineering
and Manufacturing Program (GAO/T-NSIAD-98-137, Mar. 25, 1998).

F- 22 Aircraft: Progress in Achieving Engineering and
Manufacturing Development Goals (GAO/NSIAD-98-67, Mar. 10, 1998).

Tactical Aircraft: Restructuring of the Air Force F- 22 Fighter
Program (GAO/NSIAD-97-156, June 4, 1997).

Defense Aircraft Investments: Major Program Commitments Based on
Optimistic Budget Projections (GAO/T-NSIAD-97-103, Mar. 5, 1997).

F- 22 Restructuring (GAO/NSIAD-97-100R, Feb. 28, 1997). Tactical
Aircraft: Concurrency in Development and Production of F- 22
Aircraft Should Be Reduced (GAO/NSIAD-95-59, Apr. 19, 1995).

Air Force F- 22 Embedded Computers (GAO/AIMD-94-177R, Sept. 20,
1994). Tactical Aircraft: F- 15 Replacement Issues (GAO/T-NSIAD-
94-176, May 5, 1994).

Tactical Aircraft: F- 15 Replacement Is Premature as Currently
Planned (GAO/NSIAD-94-118, March 25, 1994).

Aircraft Development: Reasons for Recent Cost Growth in the
Advanced Tactical Fighter Program (GAO/NSIAD-91-138, Feb. 1,
1991).

Aircraft Development: Navy's Participation in Air Force's Advanced
Tactical Fighter Program (GAO/NSIAD-90-54, Mar. 7, 1990).

Aircraft Development: The Advanced Tactical Fighter's Costs,
Schedule, and Performance Goals (GAO/NSIAD-88-76, Jan. 13, 1988).

Aircraft Procurement: Status and Cost of Air Force Fighter
Procurement (GAO/NSIAD-87-121, Apr. 14, 1987).

DOD Acquisition: Case Study of the Advanced Tactical Fighter
Program (GAO/NSIAD-86-45S- 12, Aug. 25, 1986).

(707344) Lett er

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